The Silly Season Is Not A License To Litter!

Queenslanders are among the least focused when it comes to keeping Australia beautiful, and have plenty of room for improvement this silly season as our country faces its biggest litter onslaught of the year.

With the Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index paying close attention to our national tally through December, each state including Queensland has the opportunity to retrieve – or trash – its reputation in Australia’s waste stakes
Peter McLeanKeep Australia Beautiful National Executive Officer Peter McLean said Christmas and New Year’s Eve were traditionally Australia’s biggest litter days with millions of tonnes of extra rubbish hitting the nation’s streets, parks and beaches. “We expect the amount of litter across the country will reach an all time peak this week with the main culprits being cigarette butts, empty food containers and water bottles,” Mr McLean said.

“We all have to take personal responsibility for our behaviour. This time of the year isn’t a ‘License to Litter’. “Let’s work together to make sure all that glitters is not litter this New Year’s eve. Littering is a deliberate wilful act- It’s another form of vandalism.”

The increase in litter is attributable to a surge of outdoor activities and the predictable increase in rubbish which comes with the holidays, especially New Year’s Eve.

Mr McLean said Queenslanders had a lot of ground to make up when it came to being the tidiest, according to the most recent Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index, but said there was still a chance to get closer to the top of the leader board.

 According to the most recent Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index based on items per 1,000 square metres, Victoria is the tidiest when it comes to litter. Queensland is currently the second worst, marginally in front of Tasmania in last place.

Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland CEO Rick Burnett also urged holidaymakers not to give their conscientious domestic recycling habits a vacation too, especially when out camping or at rental accommodation. “Familiarise yourself with the nearest domestic and public rubbish bins and recycle where possible. If camping, pick the rubbish up and take it with you,” Mr Burnett said. 

Keep Australia Beautiful has also released a ‘Yuletide Guide’ when it comes to cleaning up after Christmas and New Year.                               

  • Put bottles and cans empty and loose in the recycle bin, not bagged or boxed.
  • Recycle wrapping and cards.
  • Only recycle appropriate items. (No cellophane, tinsel, decorations, broken glasses or crockery)
  • Put cigarette butts in an appropriate container and throw in the rubbish.
  • You can’t recycle plastic shopping bags in your domestic bin. Reuse them as car rubbish bags when travelling.
  • Shopping trolleys belong at supermarkets.
  • 30% of household waste can be composted. Don’t throw leftover Christmas fruit vegie peelings in the rubbish. Compost it.
  • Don’t throw cooking oil down the sink. Wrap and put in with the rubbish.
  • Limit olfactory pollution. As a courtesy to your neighbours wrap the prawn scraps and freeze them until the next rubbish collection, this way won’t attract vermin either.
  • Polystyrene is recyclable in some places. Check with your local council.
  • Batteries are toxic for landfill, save them for council chemical waste collection or other safe deposit locations.
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